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What Are the Best Tips for Hiring a Ghost Writer?

Consider the ghost writer's experience, expertise and willingness to sign a service agreement.
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  • Written By: Rebecca Mecomber
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 30 July 2014
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A ghost writer is a professional writer paid to produce content that is credited to another person. Celebrities and politicians often hire a ghost writer to write speeches or pen an official autobiography. Novelists, technicians, instructors and online essayists also need talented ghost writers with exceptional writing skills to provide content. When hiring a ghost writer, consider the writer's willingness to sign a service agreement, expertise and experience, affordability, guarantee of unique content, and affability.

The ghost writer provides his writing expertise but never claims authorship for his work. Therefore, the ghost writer should be willing to sign and adhere to a service agreement or terms of service regarding his submitted material. Some clients may wish to claim co-authorship with the ghost writer, while others may desire to claim the work entirely for themselves. A written agreement signed by both parties is important for everyone involved. With an agreement, both parties are fully cognizant of their rights and responsibilities, and, in the unfortunate case of a breach of agreement, a party can take legal action if necessary.

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An experienced ghost writer maintains a portfolio of his work and a list of references. Clients should ask the writer to provide examples of articles, books, novels or works of literature. A common mistake in hiring a ghost writer is to appoint a very talented writer whose style radically clashes with the style of the client. When considering a ghost writer, it is important to check the work not only for stylistic competence but also for a fluid style that matches that of the client. A reliable ghost writer will also never plagiarize work.

Additionally, the ghost writer's strengths in various genres — writing fiction, for example — should coincide with the task needed. An exceptional ghostwriter of autobiographies may not exhibit such aptitude in poetry. Writers have different strengths and weaknesses. When hiring a ghost writer, a client should consider well his portfolio of sample works and take note of his qualifications in certain genres.

As with any business relationship, the ghost writer and client develop a certain accord depending on the length and depth of the material. Clients should expect to develop a certain rapport, and carefully choose a ghost writer who is affable or, at least, professional. They should check the references of previous clients when hiring a ghostwriter, to ensure that the writer leaves behind a trail of happy and satisfied customers.

When hiring a ghost writer, the client should ensure that the writer is literate and fluent in the language of the work to be compiled. The writer should know the language and subtle nuances of the language well. Also, the ghost writer's services should be within the appropriate budget of the client. Not all high-priced writers are qualified; a client may discover a budding gem of a ghost writer for a bargain.

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